Monday, March 19, 2012

A poem

“figs, figs!” yelled out the tree
and yet it yielded none to Me

i am not black
i am not white
i am not left
i am not right
i am not stupid
i am not smart
but you can see what’s in my heart
it’s plain by what my hands have worked
and where my feet have marked the earth

not of luther
not of rome
nor is the holy land
my own
i do not stand
on race or creed
cast me in
with those who bleed

i am not rich
i am not poor
i am not less
i am not more
i may be more the fool
 than you
though only this could prove it true:
my deeds alone will tell the facts.
still will they spare me from the axe?

by this measure
every man
is humbled by the dusty truth
but while made low
is yet made high
for the promise of the thing
 is nigh.

Goodness, Love and Truth call now
He offers me this moment’s plough
and i trade in my empty claims
and close my figging lips and work

~  john 14:15
~  james 2:14
~  luke 13:6-9
~  mark 11:12-25
~  1 thessalonians 4:11
~  luke 6:44

addendum est
i do not say it is enough
for you can see my work is rough
my will, divided
hands, unclean
heart, defiled
my lips are mean
let my Judge say what He will
no matter, i will follow still
for only He is Beautiful

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stay the Course

Last week I met a new a friend, someone who has recently moved to Williamsport and found our blog when looking for a house church.  She wondered if we were still meeting, because  -- well, the blog I created to help people find us, has been stagnant.

We are still meeting and have been doing so since we began near the beginning of 2011.  And we haven't been stagnant.  Our meetings have served a variety of different people, a few at a time, each for a short season.  We have grown personally.  But I confess, our experience of home churching over the last year, has not fulfilled my expectations.  I thought it would be different.  I thought it would be better.

The week before last, just before the time of our gathering, I approached God on this subject once again.  "Is this really what You want us to do?!"  I suddenly recalled the parable of the ten virgins -- the wise ones who brought enough oil for the long haul, and the foolish ones who had to leave for a replenishment and consequentially missed out.  And I felt like God was speaking to my heart, "Stay your course."

Those who attended the meeting that morning encouraged us to do just that, and I felt revived ~ recommitted to continue in this obedience, with my eyes closed to the circumstances and my ears open to God's direction.   

Yes, we are still meeting.  We do not really advertise it.  We do not make a point of mentioning it to our friends and acquaintances unless we feel there is some particular reason to.  When someone comes we assure  them that our feelings will never be hurt if they decide it's not for them.  If someone wants to come once, occasionally or regularly, that is their business and not ours.  It is our business to do what God tells us, and to give others the freedom to do what He tells them.

But in light of my friends valid wondering, I thought it might be worth saying, "Yes.  We are still here."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy In God

George Muller
I often listen to sermons I download from The Greater Boston Vineyard.  I'm especially fond of Dave Schmelzer's sound reasoning, deep truthfulness and of his decidedly plain-spoken style.

I've been re-listening to a favorite series in the last week and wanted to share them.  They include a fresh look at the ten commandments and a great application of George Muller's practice of "Being Happy in God."

The series, from February of this year, is entitled, "Ten Steps To A Life That Works".  The links below will take you to the Greater Boston Vineyard website, where you can listen online or download as mp3s.

Series: Ten Steps To A Life That Works

First in the Series
God's Antidote to Stress
Dave Schmelzer | Cambridge | outline

Second in the Series
When to Wait, When to Push
Dave Schmelzer | Cambridge | outline

Third in the Series

Fourth in the Series

Fifth in the Series

Sixth in the Series

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why Shema?

Jesus quoted this scripture, which is also a traditional Jewish prayer, in answer to a scribe who asked Him to identify the most important commandment.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.  And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

The first word of this text is the Hebrew word Shema.  As with so many words of scripture, there are different opinions about the proper translation of this Hebrew word into English.  The explanation that makes most sense to me -- that rings true with my experience, is this one:

Shema ~ Hear (Listen, Pay attention) and Do (Receive, Obey).

This is the theme of our lives as individuals, as a family, as a home church community.  To increasingly know God, to listen to Him, and to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth with the inextricably linked response of faith / obedience.